STUDENTS and staff at St John’s International Academy school had a surprise when they returned from a skiing trip last Saturday when a man was discovered in the coach’s luggage department.

A 29-year-old man from Sudan had managed to gain access to the storage hold of the coach in Calais, France, and had stowed away in order to enter the country.

The school’s principal Ian Tucker said the accompanying staff led by Mr Nicholls managed the situation “extremely professionally” until the police arrived.

He wrote to parents: “Some of you may be aware that there was an incident at the end of the recent ski trip which arrived back last week.

“On the return journey a man stowed himself away and emerged from the luggage hold once the bus arrived at St John’s.”

There were no unpleasant scenes he continued, with the students and staff all safe. He assured parents and carers that the school would be taking up the case with the coach firm and would seek assurances over their procedures.

He concluded that the way the situation was dealt with gave him “great confidence in the school and the way it approaches student safety and wellbeing.”

Police also confirmed that there was no unpleasantness saying the man was calm and compliant throughout. They confirmed the man had come from Sudan via France and was arrested for entering the country illegally and was taken to Swindon’s Gablecross Police station where he was placed in custody ahead of being handed over to the immigration authorities.

The school trip to Alpe D’Huez, France was for Year 7-10 students along with 14 members of staff and lasted from December 28 to January 5.